The 2003 Gala Weekend was the last time that Wendy appeared before coming on loan to the Museum - in fact it was the occasion when the first thought of the loan were first mooted. Anyway - that's all water under the bridge .....

We were also privilaged to have as our special guest TV personality Bob Simes, who used to feature in TV programmes including Tomorrow's World - remember that? He is a well known railway enthusiast, having a large layout in his large garden.

The usual service of two passenger trains interspersed with an industrial train was operated on the main line. Here Polar Bear arrives at Brockham while the Leighton Buzzard Motor Rail No.27 (MR5863) waits in the loop. This was the last year with the loop point in its original position.

The comparitive sizes of Peter and Wendy are apparent in this view of the two locos.

Bob Symes was asked to judge the Best layout in Show award and here he gives his expert verdict on the exhibits .....

...... before awarding the shield to Alison Gilmour of HNGRS for her small layout, Skimbleshanks Mill.

While all this was going on, operatons continued. The camera caught Wendy and the French Connection, Barbouilleur, at Brockham. Behind can be seen the Groudle Glen train about to depart.

One of the industrial trains, viewed from the rear locomotive, with No.27 doing the work.

Our rare Ransomes & Rapier loco is, at the time of writing (October 2005) out of service with a gear box problem - minor one fortunately - but in 2003 she was in fine fettle. The locomotive cavalcade features all our working locos ...........

.......... and attracts large crowds of people to view it.

Another view of No.27 with a train of skips.

2003 was the first occasion that we were able to use our new lottery funded Museum building for the Gala Weekend model railway show. In fact, we were rather spoilt on this occasion because the large exhibits for which the building was intended to display had yet to be moved in so there was plenty of room.

One of the star attractions was Roy Hickman's demostration of the art of scenery building. Many of us must wish we could emulate his skills on our own layouts.

Another interior view with part of Everleight and Upsandslayout of the Sussex Downs Group of the 009 Society, regular contributors to our event..

Outside, the building work was still unfinished although the entrance ramp and steps had been completed to ensure public access could be allowed.

Our other regular feature, not just at Railway Weekend but also at some of our other steam and model events (including Santa Fundays) is the miniature narrow gauge railway, on 7¼in gauge, presented by David Taylor and Michael Hall both members of The Society of Model & Experimental Engineers.

This year it featured a model of the Museum's Wingrove & Rogers small battery electric loco, built by Gordon Hatherill. A comparison between model and prototype was afforded by standing the model on the real one!

The 2002 gala is here .....
© Gerry Cork & Amberley Working Museum - July 2005
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